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French immigration law does not contain any provisions that would allow foreign investors to become residents if they invested a certain threshold amount in France.  French law merely provides that entrepreneurs may be granted a residence permit if their intended endeavors in France are economically feasible.[1] The initial duration of such a residence permit may not exceed one year but it is renewable.[2]

In an ongoing parliamentary debate on immigration law reform, the Office of the French President has communicated an interest in making France a more desirable destination for entrepreneurs by making it easier for them to obtain a biannual residence permit.  In the fall of 2013, a bill may be introduced in Parliament that would grant entrepreneurs and other desirable immigrants a residence permit for an initial two-year period that could be obtained with little administrative effort. [3]

These principles for granting visas to entrepreneurs and other self-employed persons only apply to citizens of countries outside of the European Union.  Citizens of the European Union do not need a visa to reside and work in France,[4] and certified long-term residents of other European Union Member States are accepted into France on the basis of that certification.[5] 

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Prepared by Edith Palmer
Chief, Foreign, Comparative,
and International Law Division II
August 2013

[1] Code de l’entré e et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d’asile [Code of Entrance and Stay of Foreigners and of the Right of Asylum] art. R. 313-16-1, (click on the title of the Code under the rubric “nom du code”).

[2] Délivrance d’une carte de séjour temporaire pour raison professionelle,, http://vosdroits (last visited July 31, 2013) (click on “Commerçants, industriels et artisans”).

[3] Débat parlamentaire sans vote sur l’immigration professionelle et étudiante, Pour la promotion de’l immigration professionelle, 3%A9s/d%C3%A9bat-parlementaire-sans-vote-sur-l%E2%80%99immigration-professionnelle-et-%C3%A9tudiante (last visited July 31, 2013).

[4] Code de l’entré e et du séjour des étrangers art. L. 121-1.

[5] Id. art. L 314-1.